WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., outlined his 2014 economic plan for America on Monday and announced he will propose bills to create new middle class jobs through tax code reform and to free up more wireless frequencies for private companies.
At an event hosted by Google and the Jack Kemp Foundation, a conservative advocacy group, Rubio focused on three goals to ease the economic uncertainty faced by many Americans: increased investment in American businesses, the adoption of policies that favor innovation and expanded access to global markets.
Rubio said that 43 percent of new jobs in the U.S. pay less than $16 an hour. He said the U.S. is in “desperate need” of policies that will create high paying jobs.
“A $10.10 minimum wage is not the American dream. We need jobs that pay $30, $40, $50 an hour, and we need to equip more of our people to fill them,” he said.
As part of his economic plan, Rubio announced a bill that aims to reallocate some of the frequencies used for wireless communication that are controlled by the federal government to commercial cell phone companies. He called on Democrats in Congress for bipartisan support of the legislation.
The reallocation would help to reduce personal inconveniences, like dropped calls and over-capacity networks, Rubio said. More importantly, he added, it would also lead to job creation.
“Estimates are that for every 500 MHz of spectrum made available for commercial use, an additional $87 billion is added to our gross domestic product and an additional 350,000 jobs are created,” he said.
Rubio said he and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, are working on legislation to modernize the U.S. tax system by allowing companies of all sizes to deduct money that they invest in improvements to their businesses. Rubio said the current corporate tax rate, which is up to 40 percent including both federal and state taxes, prevents many businesses from making investments that would help to grow the U.S. economy.
“Under the current system, the safe thing to do is to leave [profits] in the bank. We see evidence of this in the fact that American businesses are sitting on an estimated $4 to $5 trillion of cash in uninvested cash,” Rubio said. “That’s, by the way, more than the size of the German economy, and twice the size or over as the entire economy of Russia.”
Rubio also supported construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. He said the current regulatory review process for natural gas pipelines is too slow — “a seemingly endless wait while bureaucrats in Washington argue the details.” Rubio added that modernizing the pipeline approval process would stir new development nationwide.
“The interstate highway system of the last century helped foster an explosion of economic opportunity what we need now is an interstate energy pipeline because it could have a similar impact in this century,” Rubio said.
Rubio, who was been mentioned as a possible contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, received just 6 percent of the vote in Saturday’s Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, landing him in seventh place. Last year, he finished second with 23 percent of the vote. Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul finished first both years.